A few months ago, Instagram took a bite out of Vine by introducing Instagram Videos over the summer. While the feature hasn’t caught as well or virally as Vine has, it was a definite response to the growing popularity surrounding Vine and its creatively hilarious six second format. Now, it appears Instagram is taking a swipe at both Twitter and Snapchat with this morning’s announcement of Instagram Direct.
Similar to Snapchat, Instagram users can now send private photos and videos to individual friends or a group of friends. Upon receipt, it will let the sender know when the recipient has seen the media, again, the way Snapchat works. However, unlike Snapchat, the media doesn’t disappear, taking away from Snapchat’s voyeuristic flashes of time. Furthermore, Instagram Direct media only works for mutual followers or requires approval from people you don’t follower, which is similar to Twitter’s DM system. In fact, Instagram’s announcement comes off the heels of Twitter’s announcement yesterday that allows adding photos to DMs.
Personally, I see no use for Instagram Direct. If you want to send a photo or video to specific friends, why not just text it to them instead of going through a third-party application? Sure, there might be some followers whose numbers you might not have, but if it’s something that serious, why not just get those digits anyways? Instagram Direct honestly feels like nothing more than a direct reaction to the growing awareness and popularity of Snapchat. Will it be enough for you to delete Snapchat?